Thursday, December 24, 2009
Monday, December 07, 2009
The Christmas tree (thanks Mom & Dad for the hand-me-down):
The stockings I made the year we got married (love them, but Matt's mad that I didn't make one for Lucy):
I framed some of last year's Christmas Cards for the mantle:
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
and everyone else contributed delicious delights that made our Thanksgiving feast complete. What a wonderful evening!
On another note, our house guests have moved out, so Matt and I are back to living alone in our big ol' house (well, it's really not big, but after that Chicago apartment, it feels like a mansion!). We're slowly getting things back to normal, and we even started our Christmas decorating last night (pictures soon to follow). I love the holiday season!
School is slowly getting better. Some days I still feel like I'm going crazy, and some of the kids really know how to push my buttons, but I feel like I'm handling the craziness of it all better than I did at first. At least I tell myself that I am. With only 2 1/2 weeks until Christmas, I just might survive this semester!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
1. A picture of the room from the entryway:
2. A picture of the room from the other side (by my desk):
3. The entryway with cubbies, cabinets, and a bathroom:
4. Storage behind my desk:
Hopefully by the end of the week I can post pictures that look much better!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
To avoid having to sort out all these mixed emotions, we are trying to fill our last few days here with as much fun, excitement, and time with friends as possible! We are determined to see and do everything that we can (and can afford) before we leave. Luckily, there are tons of free things to do in Chicago all the time! Last weekend, Matt and I walked down to Navy Pier to watch a sailboat parade before their race to Macinac Island. This week was busy with all sorts of fun! We went on an Architecture Boat Cruise along the Chicago river (for half price!), helped some of our friends move, attended the Taste of Lincoln Park (which is a street festival), went to the Lincoln Park Zoo, said goodbye to our friend Mercy (who is headed to NY to take the Bar Exam), enjoyed eating on the sidewalk patios of our new favorite hot dog place, Portillos, and did our best not to think about leaving! Here are some pics for you to enjoy...
Thursday, July 16, 2009
1. We took the Amtrack to Kirksville, Missouri where we visited Grandma & Grandpa Bell, aunts, uncles, & cousins. Aunt Elaine had a graduation party for Matt & we got to watch old family movies that Uncle Glenn brought! Thanks, Elaine, for letting us stay with you & hosting a fun party for Matt!
2. We drove 6 hours back to Chicago where we met Jen & Misa for a short weekend in Chicago. Matt, Jen, & Misa went to the US vs. Honduras game, which they assure me was very fun & exciting (it was cold & rainy, so I opted to stay home & finish packing for the rest of our trip).
3. Drove from Chicago to Alabama for a few, hectic days of interviews, handing out resumes & squeezing in some time for friends! Matt had 2 interviews, I had several. He is still waiting to hear from one of the firms he interviewed with (they told him this week it will be 2-3 more weeks), and I'm still waiting for a job offer! (side not, I had 2 phone interviews last Friday & am eagerly-somewhat impatiently-waiting to hear back). The job situation for Matt is very promising & I'm praying a lot about my job!
4. Drove from Chicago to Duncan. We spent about a week in Duncan, for my brother's HUGE graduation party! He graduated from massage therapy school, and friends from near & far were there to celebrate. Mom & I created a fun theme with black & lime green, and Aunt Paula provided a great cake with a picture of Daren giving a massage on it! What a wonderful way to celebrate! We also spent some quality time playing Wii, sleeping late, and I organized both bathrooms (although organizing bathrooms might not sound fun to you, I was THRILLED! I like to say that organizing is my hobby!)
5. Drove from Duncan to Tulsa for a weekend with Matt's family, celebration of Father's Day & my birthday. We went to the pool on Saturday & Sunday with the nieces. Very fun! Also had a lovely lunch at Brook's house and spent time at the hospital with MeMa.
6. Drove from Tulsa to OKC & spent the week doing the "tour of homes." Several of our friends in OKC have new houses, so we spent time with them & stayed at their houses. It was great fun to have a chance to catch up & to see that we all have very similar decorating tastes! We also celebrated Matt's birthday at Flattire Burger with his sisters & the girls. The highlight of that dinner was the Smore's we had for dessert!
7. Drove from OKC back to Duncan where my parents planned a graduation party for Matt & Me. Again, we got to see friends from near and far, and had the pleasure of eating Dad's fajitas! Amazing! The rest of the week was spent relaxing in Duncan & eating at new restaraunts (who knew there were so many places I had never tried in Duncan!). We also got to see Chris, Regina, Caleb & Aidan who flew in from LA! Oh, and we rode in a fancy car in the 4th of July parade.
8. Drove back to OKC from Duncan for Brenton's wedding (Matt's college roommate), stayed with Heather & Ryan, & had a nice lunch at Hideaway pizza for Matt's birthday (have you noticed that he likes to stretch out his birthday celebrations?)
9. Drove back to Tulsa from OKC for dinner with some good friends (again to celebrate Matt's birthday, which meant lots of good food for me!). Also got to spend one last night with Matt's parents.
10. Drove from Tulsa back to Chicago, where we arrived exhausted & thrilled to be home after a wonderful trip!
In case you weren't counting the miles of that trip, let me just tell you that we drove 3209 miles, and spent 51 hours in the car! Like I said, it was a LONG trip, but at least it was spread out over 3 1/2 weeks! When we got back to Chicago, we knew our time here was limited, so we're trying to make the most of every moment! We're having a blast (while trying not to be stressed about jobs)! Hope you are having a wonderful summer as well!
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Matt & me at the reception
Outside after graduation:
Matt's dressed & ready to go:
Matt and the foreigners (clockwise from left: Alonso from Mexico, Matt, Rafi from Puerto Rico, Gioncarlo from El Salvador, Fatma from Turkey, Lauri from Paraguay):
I took a video of Matt's LLM section (LLM in International Business and Trade). I know graduations aren't too fun to watch, but I thought the family that was unable to be with us to celebrate would enjoy watching Matt walk across the stage! Be sure your volume is turned up and press play. Enjoy!
Well, I hope you all have a wonderful day. It's now 3 am (videos take awhile to upload) so I am going to try to get some sleep!
Friday, May 08, 2009
Next, we have a masterpiece drawn by Chloe. This is a close likeness of Uncle Matt that she drew on Easter Sunday while he was leading singing. It is also a great artistic creation! Both art pieces are proudly displayed on our fridge for us to see everyday.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
**Update: KFC Take 2 was also unsuccessful. Today Matt and I had to run an errand to the south side of the Loop, and there is another KFC down there. So, we grabbed our coupon & headed out. As we approach the door, we see another sign..."No Grilled Chicken." Again? Really? Since we're hungry, we go ahead and head inside to get some plain ol' fried chicken. We ask the manager why they don't have grilled chicken & he said the equipment for it is broken & it will take 6 weeks before they have it. Hmm... When we got home, Matt looked online & it said they are no longer accepting the coupons. So much for free food. Now we have paid to eat out twice when we were trying to eat out for free. So the free food coupon cost us $30. Nice.**
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
I wasn't making an elaborate meal, just cheese dip and quesadillas. Notice the cheese grater, plate, and cutting board precariously balanced on the edge of the sink. Also notice that the skillet and pan are touching each other while sitting on the burners (no, these aren't extra large pans)! It definitely makes for some interesting cooking experiences (sometimes I burn myself, other times I knock things in the floor or the sink). But, I won't complain because, after all, we do live in downtown Chicago & the weather is starting to get BEAUTIFUL!!
Thursday, April 30, 2009
This is our building. I think I've posted this picture before, but it's the only one I have! We love the location of our apartment...it's near everything! We wouldn't mind if we had 2 rooms instead of 1 though!
This is our local Starbucks. It's about 3 blocks away, and Matt likes to call it his "office." I call it my "living room." This is where I met the infamous "Starbucks Girls" that I mentioned in previous posts. Funny fact, Matt and I saw the girls for the 3rd time yesterday when we were there!
I absolutely love this little area of our neighborhood. It's referred to as the Rush Street Triangle, and it's a block from our house. There are lots of restaurants and stores, and in the middle there is a fountain and tables. It's so charming! Matt and I had a picnic out there when the weather was nice last week. I'll have to get a better picture now that the trees are green and some flowers are planted.
We also spend a lot of time at Corner Bakery. I guess it could be called our "dining room," although we don't really eat there. It's our alternate option when we don't want to go to Starbucks to work. We like to switch it up so the employees don't get sick of seeing us at their place everyday! On more than one occasion I've gotten a free cookie for agreeing to fill out an online survey about their store...love it!
The only place in this post not within walking distance in this post is Matt's school. I don't know if it's one of his favorite places in Chicago, but he spends a lot of time there (and that's why we live in Chicago) so I thought it was blog worthy!
Well, that's all the pictures I have for now. I just realized that it looks like it is really cold in all these pictures. Some of them were taken awhile back when it was cold. We're still having weather with highs in the 50's, but we have had a few 70 degree days mixed in there! On the warm days, I love Chicago even more!
Please keep praying for Matt's job search. There are a few possibilities floating around, but nothing is nailed down yet. Right now, it looks like we'll be back in Montgomery. We're excited about that possibility, and that Matt has some prospects, but also growing weary of the waiting and wondering what will happen next! Also, I'm on the hunt for a teaching job, so if anyone knows of any openings, let me know!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Shortly after their departure, Matt and I headed to Novinger, Missouri to spend time with his family over Easter weekend. And, now that Heath (his cousin) and Brook (my cousin) are engaged, I got to see a member of my side of the family too! It was a wonderful, relaxing weekend with so much delicious food! Here are some pics from the fun weekend...
We brought Jen, Heather, & the nieces back to Chicago with us for a few days which was so much fun!! We went to the Field Museum, the Lincoln Park zoo, the Hancock Building, and lots of fun restaurants (I've just noticed that I have mentioned food several times in this blog...guess I love food!). We also squished into our tiny apartment, laughed a lot at Allie's silly faces and singing in her sleep, helped Chloe write some wonderful papers about her trip, and saw that both Chloe & Allie have their Uncle Matt wrapped around their fingers. I think my favorite quote from the trip was when Chloe said, "Mom, can I take a bath tonight? I need a break from Allie." When Chloe had finished with her bath that night, she came out of the bathroom and Allie said, "Chloe, that wasn't a very long break from me." Those girls crack me up! Here are some pics from that trip to enjoy...
To top off all our traveling fun, Matt and I made a spur of the moment trip back to Alabama. Actually, we left Chicago the same day that the girls left! Matt was asked to be a judge on the final panel of the 1L Moot Court tournament. Again, he loved being able to participate in the Moot Court program & see the Board of Advocates continuing to flourish after he worked so hard on it last year. We also both had the chance to do some "networking" for job possibilities in case we move back there. (By the way, we are pretty much planning to go back to Montgomery unless something unexpected comes along in Texas.) Spending time with our friends was, of course, the highlight of the trip! We had lunches and dinners with a lot of them (again with the food focus), as well as staying with Stephen and Kayla. Oh, well the highlight of the trip for Matt was probably actually getting to see Lucy! Sorry friends, you come behind Man's Best Friend!! More pictures to enjoy...
After all of that excitement, Matt and I were glad to be back in our tiny apartment with a few days to rest and relax. Well, Matt can't relax too much because he has 2 papers and several briefs to write in the next couple of weeks! We don't have much planned for the next few weeks, but I'm sure we'll find something to keep us entertained in the exciting city of Chicago!!
P.S. I chopped off my hair while I was in Alabama!
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Last week was filled with substituting, editing a book, and training to be a teaching assistant for me. I subbed 3 days at a private, Christian school which was great! I'm training to be a teaching assistant for Ashford University. They have a large online program, and I will be grading papers, etc for introductory English & Psychology classes. I think I will enjoy it! Matt was busy with school & writing briefs. Not to mention, we started our new running program last week! Matt has already lost 3 pounds, but I'm still just stuck at the same weight. Oh well, such is life! I'm still not a fan of running, and I don't foresee myself becoming a running fanatic, but each day got a little better. We'll see how it goes as the distance we have to run increases.
The next 2 weeks hold more excitement, and more visitors! At the end of this week, the Jones School of Law Moot Court team will be here for the National Competition. We look forward to seeing them compete, as well as showing them around the city & spending time with friends! Next week, Matt and I are taking the Amtrack to Kirksville, to see Matt's family. His sisters, nieces, and Heath & Brook are all meeting us in Kirksville for the weekend. We'll stay with Heath's parents and spend lots of time with everyone. It should be a great way to spend Easter Weekend. Then, Heather, Jen & the nieces will come back to Chicago with us to spend a few days! So, we'll continue to stay busy, but we're looking forward to it! I hope everyone is doing well, and having a wonderful week!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Well, to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, Matt and I headed downtown to the St. Patty's Day parade. It was actually on Saturday, so a few days early, but it was festive nonetheless. Lots of green, lots of people, and lots of unions (I think every union in the state was in the parade!). The parade was 3 hours long, but it was a beautiful day so we enjoyed every minute! Here are some pictures for you to enjoy...
(click to enlarge)
Top row, from left: A dog dyed green, Happy St. Patty's Day!, the Green River, The Oscar Meyer Wienermobile, and a Green Elvis
Monday, March 09, 2009
Other than eavesdropping on unsuspecting high school girls, I really haven’t been too busy! I obtained a substitute certificate from the Illinois Board of Education, only to find out that
As far as Matt’s job search goes, he still hasn’t gotten any offers from